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Issue 145 Autumn 2022

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2022 > Hot topics


| Hot topics

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

Osteoporosis is a progressive weakening of bone strength. It increases the likelihood of fracture and is compounded by a complex mixture of endocrine and immune inputs. However, bone-strengthening treatments are available, and the transit from bone loss (osteopenia) to osteoporosis is not 100%. There is a wide appreciation that women are at an elevated risk of osteoporosis compared with men. Because of this, there is limited understanding of how osteoporosis in men manifests and progresses.

This recent study by Lawenius et al. draws a link between bone loss in males, shifts in hormone concentrations, and the gut microbiota. They evaluated the impact of a probiotic mixture on the levels of bone loss experienced during sex steroid deficiency. To study these variables, they utilised an orchiectomised mouse model, treating 10-week-old mice with vehicle or probiotic mixture for 6 weeks.

After treatments, they found bone mineral density to be improved in the trabecular region of the femur in probiotic-fed mice. Moreover, there was an elevation in short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the caecal content of these mice, indicating that bone protective impacts were being measured; this may be related to the ability of tissues to regulate SCFA levels. This work indicates that treatment with probiotics to preserve bone mass may be useful in this patient cohort.

Read the full article in Journal of Endocrinology 254 91–101

This Issue:

Autumn 2022

Autumn 2022